I had been working in a small mom & pop sporting good store that bought and sold used sporting equipment. I had gotten the job as a way to earn some meager cash over the summer while school had been on recess. The owner was, often times, in a drunken stupor in his little upstairs office, while my co-worker and I ran the store.
- on July 22, 2017
- on July 11, 2017
Skateboarding has been the focus of my life for the last decade. Whether it was playing an active role as a photographer/writer contributing "content" to the hype machine or being the eye candy in front of the lens, I've managed to carve out a double existence within this small humble realm, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't acknowledge the fact that I've been extremely fortunate to have been able to live such a life. With that said, if there is one thing you realize through all of this, it's that stagnation is the swan song to our industry. The moment we accept complacency within our spectrum, is the moment when everything begins to unravel.
- The Gel Lab sessions are just shy of almost a decade old. Thats almost ten solid years of skateboarding on Wednesday nights with good friends and in good company. I wont lie, weve lost a few people along the way, and I mean that both metaphorically and physically. Life runs its course, and just like the cycle of the seasons, faces come and go. With that being said, Ive also come to know that some of The Gel Lab sessions longest running attendees have had their stints of disconnection as well. Sometimes even the most fervent session goers just need to ghost out for awhile. However, for me, the greatest gratification is seeing some of those long lost faces re-emerge from the abyss of obscurity. I assume the reconnection stands to represent a bit of a revival of sorts, a re-association with something that made you feel good about yourself.
- Some weeks had passed since we had been back to our beloved DTLA garage of garages. I had personally spent time casing the garage during the weeks of our absence, memorizing security patterns, making sure that IF we were to return to our weekly routine, things would be relatively stress free. Ill admit, I wasnt quite sure how things would turn out. The security had been staying later and later, which in corporate terms means that someone had to make a decision in a meeting to keep these guards hanging out longer, thus costing them more in the process. So the fact that our presence had become enough of a concern for them to start having their lackeys hang around later was reason enough for us to stay away.
- on March 25, 2017
With almost a decade of weekly Wednesday sessions under my belt I had known for awhile it was time we added a new location to the rotation. Downtown Los Angeles has been such a wonderful sanctuary to us for almost the better part of 3 years, but it needed a break. Security guards were starting to recognize specific skaters, and their shifts seemed to be running later and later. So I decided to tour us around for a bit, as I do when I feel one spot is getting too much heat. This particular week, Ojoom Pucks' John Baelly suggested we check out a new location. Nestled deep into the hills of Elysian Park, this absolutely peach of a free-ride hill immediately brought back memories of the golden age of Parkway Calabasas (for veterans of The Gel Lab sessions, theyll remember just how glorious the incline of Parkway really was). This new hill however; is well lit at night, secluded, the pavement is smooth with zero cracks, and the grade is steep enough and long enough for both the seasoned freerider as well as the novice looking to step up their game. It is my hope, that this new location will play host to a new rise in freeriding talent from the greater Los Angeles area, as attendees of future Gel Lab sessions can expect to see this location in the mix a lot more often!
- on July 15, 2016
?????????????????? Hello! This is Minchita, the stoked news reporter, and today Im here to talk about the first ever outlaw downhill race that happened in far east, Nyom Island/Superhill, Yokosuka Japan. Yes ma'am, it was the first DH race to ever happen in Japan! [caption id="attachment_21218" align="aligncenter" width="720" caption="Kohey Inoue & Yuji "Ken" Ebizuka at the start line before semi final. ?????Kohey Inoue)????Yuji Ebizuka)??????????????????"][/caption] My partner in crime Fifer and I have been dreaming about organizing a DH race in Japan since we saw for the first time what DH racing is all about back in Maryhill FOS 2011. It took 5 years of dreaming to make it happen, but yes! We finally did it!!
- Watch "Forsaken Circuit" here. For many, adventure can be a daunting task. What looks good on paper doesn't always turn out how we hope. You get rained on, cars break down, the hotel doesn't have hot water, your funds run out before it even feels like you got started. These common bumps in the road keep many people from experiencing what there is to be had in the great wide world. In their video "Forsaken Circuit", Alex McKenzie and Jon Sevik took the little free time they had before summer ended to make memories that will last until their next journey. Their travels are not dictated by the robotic voice of their GPS, they don't listen to the endless ramblings of a tour guide, they didn't find a treasure map in Davey Jones' locker. They found a few hard to believe locations thanks to the dense thicket of the internet and went for it. Like true explorers, the adventure did not go according to plan. And that was the point.
- on September 18, 2015Radicals Fiesta! took place on past September 5th in Osaka, Japan. ???????????????????? I could write a simple report with a chronicle about how things went on the day of the event and how fun it was (to make you readers jealous... just kidding!). However this time, besides the event report of Radicals Fiesta, I'll write about the whole experience of organizing local events and sessions I have been doing since 2013 together with my partner in crime Fifer. Also we want to give a little of context of the Japanese scene; believe me, things in Japan are really different. We want to share this experience because we believe that there is bunch of young talent out there who want to make things happens but doesn't know where to start. Hopefully sharing our experience could encourage you readers, because if we have done it, you could do it too!
- on May 01, 2015Tags: wilshire cruise , wilshire , venice beach skatepark , venice beach , street , skateboarding , sidewalk shred , push culture , push , noah dekel , los angeles , longboarding , loaded , joshua hayes , greenskate.org , greenskate la , greenskate , freestyle , freeriding , earth month , earth day , distance , carving , arian chamasmanyFriends, compatriots, let there be no doubt, Ive thrown my fair share of skate events over the years. Ive run the gamut of mishaps, tackled with the unexpected, the unscripted, unplanned. Ive attended and played host to numerous slide jams and weekly shred summonings. Savored countless instances of pure unadulterated skateboarding elation. Seen and sewn the seeds of stoke, both near and abroad. So, after almost six years of solid event attendance, organization, and assembly, naturally, you have to assume that there are going to be a few bad apples in the bunch, so to speak. Alas, so was what I had originally perceived by the painfully lackluster attendance of the recent event I threw in conjunction with Greenskate.org and Loaded Boards, The Greenskate LA Sidewalk Shred. Out of the twenty something people I had confirmed or assumed would attend our leisurely Sunday afternoon skate gathering, only a proud and faithful TWO had actually arrived. [caption id="attachment_19379" align="alignnone" width="625" caption="Pushing off towards Wilshire Boulevard, and down towards the beach."][/caption] What to do? I thought to myself nervously Continue to stall the jam? (assuming maybe a few more swarthy souls would arrive) or, run the days plan with the proud plucky two that made the effort to show up.. The resulting noble group-made decision to press onward despite our absence of numbers later proved not only to debunk my initial woeful projections as to the overall success of the afternoon, but also worked to remind me that while stoke in numbers may indeed be the case, it definitely does not dictate that a day spent shredding the streets with a two versus twenty isnt necessarily any less fun; or in this case, meaningful.